A Triangular Relationship
Leuven Global Governance series
Edited by Jan Wouters, Jean-Christophe Defraigne and Matthieu Burnay
Chapter 2: How important is Northeast Asia for China and the EU? Economic convergence, geopolitical divergence
This chapter provides a comparative analysis of the economic and geopolitical importance of Northeast Asia – defined here as comprising China, Taiwan, Japan and the Korean Peninsula – for the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the European Union (EU), respectively. China’s core interests are located in Northeast Asia. The Taiwan issue remains unresolved, despite the deepening economic and social ties with the island since 2008. The disputed Diaoyu islands remain under Japanese control, and the escalation of tensions with Tokyo since 2010 appears to be providing yet another reason for Japan to reinforce its military alliance with the US. South Korea, too, has placed more emphasis on its relations with America in recent years, while the ‘conditional engagement’ approach toward North Korea embraced by both Seoul and Washington has diverged from Beijing’s strategy that focuses primarily on avoiding instability on the Korean Peninsula.
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